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Margaret Echelbarger

Margaret Echelbarger

Margaret Echelbarger

Recorded July, 2019

Margaret Echelbarger

Email | Personal Website | Participate in Research


PhD, Psychology, University of Michigan 
MS, Psychology, University of Michigan 
MA, Child Language, University of Kansas
BA, Cognitive and Linguistic Sciences, Wellesley College


Margaret is a principal researcher at the Center for Decision Research. Prior to the University of Chicago, she was a doctoral student at the University of Michigan in developmental psychology working primarily with Susan Gelman.

Research Interests

Margaret is interested in promoting greater wellbeing across the lifespan. As a part of this, she currently examines the strategies we use to understand the contents of others’ minds, and whether the efficacy of different strategies changes as we age. In a related line of work, she also examines why we may fail to engage in prosocial behaviors, especially in cases where these acts bring about greater wellbeing. Across studies, she takes a developmental approach with the goal of understanding the ontogeny of decision making.

Margaret is currently conducting research with children to better understand how we develop as decision makers. If you are a parent or guardian, find out how you and your child can participate in paid studies online

Selected Publications & Presentations

Gelman, S. A., & Echelbarger, M. (in press). Children, object value, and persuasion, Journal of Consumer Psychology.

Echelbarger, M., Gelman, S. A., & Kalish, C. W. (2018). Getting what you pay for: Children’s use of market norms to regulate exchanges. Child Development.

Echelbarger, M., Gelman, S. A., & Kalish, C. W. (2018). How does “emporiophobia” develop? Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 41, e168.

Smith1, Craig E., Echelbarger1, M., Gelman, S. A., Rick, S. I. (2018). Spendthrifts and tightwads in childhood: Feelings about spending predict financial behavior in children. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 31, 446-460. (denotes equal authorship)

Echelbarger, M., & Gelman, S. A. (2017). The value of variety and scarcity across development. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 156, 43-61.